100 million ‘offline’ Americans to get cheap broadband, digital literacy skills

The campaign will offer consumers access to programs providing discounted high-speed internet service and low-cost computers.

Three in 10 Americans are offline, citing both cost and digital skill barriers—but thanks to Everyone On, a new nonprofit initiative, more than 100 million offline Americans, including homes with children, will have cheap broadband access and training in digital literacy skills.

According to a new national survey on the current state of home broadband adoption released by the national nonprofit Connected Nation, broadband adoption is on the rise—increasing from 65 percent in 2011 to 70 percent in 2012, but that still leaves almost 70 million Americans (30 percent) offline at home.

Out of that 30 percent, almost 8 million households with children do not subscribe to home broadband service, representing almost 15 million children living in those homes.

“The digital literacy barrier is impacting children’s ability to do homework, as 1.8 million children without broadband at home don’t have it because their parents don’t have digital skills,” according to Connected Nation.

“Virtually every person who subscribes to broadband at home contributes to the economy by pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities, teleworking, online shopping, increasing job and educational skills, and in many more ways,” said Connected Nation President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Ferree. “The fact that three in 10 Americans do not subscribe to broadband shows that work still needs to be done to raise awareness and help those who remain offline.”

(Next page: What the campaign will offer)

Meris Stansbury

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